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Monday, November 19, 2018

Hosting a Sober Thanksgiving

sober Thanksgiving
Now that you’re sober, it’s time to rethink any old traditions that don’t mesh with your new healthy lifestyle – and this may include Thanksgiving. One way to do this is to host your own sober Thanksgiving!

There’s really no wrong way to celebrate – it can be a small, stress-free gathering, it can be a hike with friends or trip to the movies – so long as there’s no alcohol or illicit substances and you’re making new memories with people you love.

Make it manageable, not stressful. When you’re planning you’re Thanksgiving, consider what you can and can't handle. For example, do you need to order take-out or make it a potluck because cooking is too much? Is everyone on the guest list supportive of your sobriety? If you find that what originally sounded like a good way to celebrate Turkey Day is causing high levels of stress, ask for help. Reach out to your therapist or support group or ask a trusted friend or family member to pitch in. Hosting a sober Thanksgiving shouldn’t mean putting your sobriety at risk by causing high levels of stress.

Emphasize that it’s a sober event. From your invite to your reminder call or text a few days before, make sure that all of your guests know that it’s a sober event with no alcohol or other illicit substances. And for any guests who are not in recovery, you may even need to remind them that it’s also not OK to be under the influence when they arrive. Ask guests to bring their favorite nonalcoholic beverage and put out some fun drinking glasses.

Don’t skimp on self-care. To be your best sober self this holiday, make sure that you exercise, eat a healthful breakfast and practice relaxation strategies on the morning of Thanksgiving. Why not start your day by taking time to reflect on how your life has changed since you’ve gotten sober and how friends and family have helped with your journey? It's Thanksgiving after all – and what better time to show gratitude!

Preventing Relapse All Season
A relapse only requires a moment of weakness; when the stresses of life overwhelm you, it’s easy to turn to your drug of choice in order to escape. Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Creating a Mindfulness Practice for Work

As you begin working again, it’s important to incorporate mindfulness into your workday. For one, it can help keep stress at bay and it can also help squash any self-defeating thoughts that come your way. Here are a few ways to become mindful during your busy day.

Perform a bite-sized mindful exercise. It can take as little as one minute and no one will even have to know you’re doing it. You don’t need to sit down or close your eyes – just find time to connect with your sense. What do you see, smell, hear – and how is this making you feel at the moment?

Kick your multi-tasking habit. Single-tasking instead of multi-tasking will allow you to be more present and mindful about what you’re doing. And, surprisingly, it may even help you be more productive during the workday.

Set a timer. It’s normal to go into auto-pilot mode during the workday and a little reminder to be mindful can’t hurt. Set your smartphone (on vibrate so it doesn’t disturb others) once or twice  a day. When the alarm goes off, take a long mindful breath or pause and take note of your surroundings.

Pay attention to the signs of stress. We all experience stress but being mindful about how stress impacts your body – how your heart speeds, breathing accelerates – can help you better respond to stress. Being aware of these physical signs can help you learn to be grateful for how your body works to increase oxygen and stay energized to cope with the challenges ahead. After all, mindfulness is synonymous with gratitude. The goal, then, is to realize and appreciate what you have and how others have helped you live the sober life you so deserve! 

Employment Help at HAUS
Accountability and being self-supporting are vital steps to the reintegration process, so we encourage our clients to work. Our staff will assist with resume building and more. To learn more about our services, contact us today: 888-551-4715.




Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How Gut Health Affects Mental Health


gut health mental healthIt’s Mental Illness Awareness Week, and it’s the perfect time to talk about the relationship between your gut and your mental health. Researchers are continuing to reveal the mental health benefits of a healthy gut population of beneficial bacteria. This is because healthy gut bacteria elevate blood levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which increases levels of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. In people with a mental illness, like depression, serotonin levels are normally low.  

Anxiety and depression can cause changes in the gut microbiome, according to Mental Health America (MHA). This is why people struggling with mental illness often experience gastrointestinal woes like heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, pain, constipation and/or diarrhea. Sound familiar?

The best thing you can do to keep your gut healthy is to eat a balanced and nutritious daily diet. In addition, regular exercise, ample sleep and relaxation techniques should be part of your recovery plan to help keep your mind and body functioning at its best. 

Here are a few gut-friendly diet tips from MHA to consider:
  • Do your best to eat a diet full whole grains, lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Skip or limit sugary, fried, or processed foods and soft drinks.
  • Load up on prebiotic foods like asparagus, bananas (especially if they aren’t quite ripe), garlic, onions, jicama, tomatoes, apples, berries and mangos.
  • Add probiotic foods to your diet. This includes yogurt (live or active cultures), unpasteurized sauerkraut and kimchi, miso soup, kefir, kombucha (fermented black tea), tempeh (made of soy beans) and apple cider vinegar.

Relapse Prevention at Haus Recovery
A big part of staying on the sober path is paying attention to your emotional well-being and realizing when it needs a little extra TLC. Keeping relapse at bay is about cementing new healthy habits and remaining accountable to the recovery support system – and we’re here to help. To learn more about our recovery residences, call today: 888-551-4725.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Sober Fall Fun in Santa Monica

Fall is finally here — and sunny Southern California is the perfect place to soak up the seasonal fun. From hiking to pumpkin picking, we’ve pulled together a few autumn-inspired activities to add to your sober fun list this fall.
  • Take in the scenery. Fall is perhaps the best season to go for a hike or visit a nearby park where you can simply enjoy the scenery. Bonus: When you experience beauty, like the vibrant colors of leaves, the part of your brain that contains your relaxation response center is activated, and you’ll feel more relaxed and in a better mood.
  • Set up camp. Cooler temperatures plus fewer mosquitos makes the perfect recipe for camping. Looking for a nature break without sleeping outdoors? There are tons of “glamping” (or glamorous camping) spots nearby Santa Monica.
  • Savor seasonal eats. You can certainly take a day to go apple picking or pumpkin picking in one of the many spots around Los Angeles — or just head to your local farmer’s market for seasonal produce. Superfoods like pumpkin, apples, sweet potatoes, squash and figs will help to keep you healthy and nourished this season. And don’t forget about seasonal spices: The scent of cinnamon, for instance, has been study-proven to sharpen your mind.
  • Play like a kid. Whether you arrange a few friends and head to a pumpkin patch for a corn maze race or play flag football or soccer in the park, fall is a prime time to head outdoors. The brisk, fresh air will feel great on your skin and in your lungs and the benefits will extend to your mental state, too.
More Sober Living Activities
At Haus Recovery, we whole-heartedly believe that sustained recovery should incorporate daily fun. To this end, we offer bikes, surfboards and paddleboards for residents and organize group activities and outings every week. To learn more, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Healthy Ways to Have Fun in Recovery

Now that you’re sober, you have a lot of sober fun in your future. In fact, finding healthy ways to enjoy life is key to lasting sobriety. 

Life in recovery is more than just meeting goals, learning and practicing coping skills and restructuring your life. It’s about finding joy, hope and love in life. What are you waiting for? Write down a few sober activities that you might enjoy and prioritize your list. 

Here are a few ways to ensure fun in recovery. 
  • Meet other people. While getting out and meeting new people can seem intimidating, it’s an important part of branching out and having fun during recovery. Sign up for a reading or running group, talk to someone new at your next support group or make a point to introduce yourself to the neighbor you always see at the park. Socializing with others will help you continue to get to know the new sober you and meet like-minded people. 
  • Try a hobby. Hobbies can help you meet new friends with shared interests and fill your newfound time with something you’re passionate about. But what kind of hobby is right for you? Try a few until you find one that fits. There are so many potential choices - from stamp collecting to cabinetry to cooking to joining a running club. Just keep in mind that with most hobbies comes a learning curve, so don’t get discouraged if it takes some time to get the hang of it. 
  • Consider travel. Getting away and discovering new places is a great stress reliever and it’s also a great way to meet new people and experience something different from everyday life. If you can’t afford a big trip, try taking a tour of a nearby city. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to learn right in your own backyard.
  • Laugh always and often. Learning how to laugh at life and yourself is perhaps the best way to enjoy your life in recovery – and it’s free. The road to sobriety is tough and some days will feel never-ending. Take an opportunity to find the funny in even the most mundane recovery tasks. 

Finding Fun at Haus Recovery
We believe sobriety is the beginning of a fun, fulfilling and lifelong adventure. To learn about our program and how we can help you feel good about life and sobriety, call today: 888-551-4715.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Summertime SAD: What You Need to Know

summertime SADWhen most of us think of seasonal depression, we think of the winter blues or feelings of depression brought on by the darker, colder winter months. More and more experts, however, are noticing seasonal depression in the summer months. There’s even a clinical name for it – Summer-Onset Seasonal Affective Disorder or SO SAD. 

“It is a thing. It is not as common as winter SAD,” Kathryn Roecklein, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, told TODAY. "We don’t have a lot of research on summer SAD."

So what causes SO SAD? Roecklein said that it’s likely related to how sun and UV light influence mood. “Heat, sun and UV exposure limit people’s ability to engage in pleasant activities,” she said. “It reduces your positive mood and increases depression.” 

The heat can also worsen symptoms of clinical depression, bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses. What's more, interrupted routines, less available support systems, financial stress and body image issues can also contribute to summertime SAD, say experts. 

Luckily, some of the same healthy habits that will help your recovery can help improve symptoms of SO SAD, including regular exercise, proper nutrition, stress management and surrounding yourself with positive people who will have a positive impact on your mood. 

Recognizing SO SAD
The symptoms of summertime SAD are similar to winter SAD and include feeling depressed, hopeless, losing interest in fun activities and struggling to concentrate. Other symptoms include: 
  • Feelings of anxiety, agitation or hopelessness
  • Loss of energy
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Lack of interest or participation in things you usually enjoy
  • Withdrawal or isolation 
  • Consistent feelings of sadness
Relapse Prevention at Haus Recovery
If you’re feeling depressed this summer, it’s smart to seek help and regularly attend 12-step meetings. At Haus, we’ll ensure you stay part of a strong recovery community and learn habits to help safeguard your mental health and sobriety. To learn more about our relapse prevention program, call today: 888-551-4725.




Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Healthy Versus Unhealthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is an important part of lasting sobriety. Boundaries allow you to nurture your wellbeing, establish your identity and protect your mental and physical health. There are different levels and types of boundaries, including physical, emotional and mental boundaries. In general, healthy boundaries determine what we will, and will not, accept in order to stay strong, safe and happy. They are a way to preserve your self-care and self-respect. 

A big part of building healthy boundaries is finding a healthy balance. Here are some examples:

Unhealthy: Giving a lot and receiving nothing back.
Healthy: Being in a relationship where the other person reciprocates.

Unhealthy: Trusting no one or trusting anyone.
Healthy: Striking a balance of trust and skepticism.

Unhealthy: Telling everything to everybody or anybody.
Healthy: Sharing a little at a time while checking to see how the other person responds.

Unhealthy: Falling in love with anyone and without much thought.
Healthy: Taking time to decide whether a potential relationship is right for you and your recovery.

Unhealthy: Going against your personal values or morals to please others.
Healthy: Maintaining self-respect and personal values despite what others want.

Unhealthy: Allowing others to direct your life – without questioning.
Healthy: Trusting your decisions and communicating your needs.

Unhealthy: Self-abuse – sexual, food, physical or substance abuse.
Healthy: Treating yourself with kindness, humor and love and respecting your body and its needs. 

Let Our Mentors Guide You
Even with the recovery skills you’ve gained, you may need help when it comes to setting healthy boundaries for your new sober life. One of the advantages of sober living at HAUS is having fellow residents and a wonderful support team to help you stay clean and respect yourself while you transition from treatment to “normal life.” To learn more about our mentoring services, call today: 888-551-4715.